South Georgia Diving Petrel
Cooper Bay, South Georgia
27 Jan 1996
On trips to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, birds will regularly land on the the ship overnight. They probably become confused by the navigation lights, etc. In any event, most are not injured, and morning patrols of the ship often revealed several birds on the decks. This South Georgia Diving Petrel was picked up from the deck, examined and photographed, then tossed overboard into the wind. It flew safely away.
The diving petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. There are four very similar species all in the family Pelecanoididae and genus Pelecanoides (Lacépède, 1799), distinguished only by small differences in the coloration of their plumage and their bill construction.